Containment is 71% and we ask that you be aware that the ash pits can continue to enlarge over time.
Despite unusually warm and dry conditions, firefighters continue making progress containing and securing the McKinley Fire. Most of their efforts have been focused on mop up, hazard tree removal, and helping Matanusaka Electric Association restore power.
Mop up means firefighters meticulously search for hot spots some distance into burned areas (often 50 feet) and extinguish those hot spots. They typically run their bare hands through the ash to find hot spots, but some have been using infrared sensors to make the job safer. They have also been using video footage from drones with infraredcameras to find heat. Hazard tree removal is necessary because trees in the burned area can fall unexpectedly on people, structures, roads or power lines. Their roots are shallow and have been weakened by the fire. Firefighters have been falling these trees using heavy equipment as much as possible.
All these conditions including ash pits and falling trees make a very dangerous environment for residents returning to their properties.
On Monday of this week “Level 3- Go” evacuation levels were reduced, and residents were able to re-enter their properties. A “Level 2 – Set” evacuation level exists between milepost 81.5 and 92. A “Level 1 – Ready” evacuation level exists between mileposts 79 and 81.5.
Weather: Today should be warm and dry again with some clouds starting to enter the area. Cooler air and more cloud cover should arrive this weekend, and a good chance of rain is forecasted for Monday.
Closures: A portion of Willow Swamp (Game Management Unit 14A) is closed due to the Deshka Landing Fire. For more info, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/. A TemporaryFlight Restriction (TFR) exists over the McKinley Fire.
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Categories: AK Fire Info